Hi, welcome my friend! I have a reflection for us to share today which I believe is rather timely but first let’s grab our cuppa & treats to get comfy for our time together.
Following on from my Tea’s of the World adventure over Christmas. I’m enjoying a cup of Sticky date tea today accompanied by a gf strawberry shortbread cookie, I can’t tell you how delicious these are!
Now we are comfy, sipping our hot cuppa’s & enjoying our treats let us begin…
When I was a little girl, I went to several schools of faith (my father’s work required us to live in different regional areas a few years at a time) until High School, I clearly remember my first day at school with all its new experiences.
I remember my Kindergarten teacher, Miss Cornell who had a Beehive hairstyle which was the latest fashion at the time here in Australia. I thought she was the kindest person I had ever met in all of my 5 years on this planet, apart from my family of course! Lol!
We had an old classroom in an old school building that smelt of colored pencils, crayons, old timber desks & old books. Aromas that still to this day transport me back to that classroom with its colorful fun & exciting things for Kindy kids.
I was delighted that we prayed each morning, as we stood behind our desks, before our lessons began.
Learning that Prayer is essentially a chat with God, sharing what’s on our mind in our concerns, our needs or the needs of others & to give thanks.
The power of the Almighty
The prayer we prayed each morning was known as the Lord’s prayer & was the prayer Jesus taught His disciples whilst He walked the Earth,
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our sins, as we forgive others,
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
(Matthew 6: 9-13 & Luke 11: 2-4)
As you can see it was an old English version…
As an adult I also had a first day experience at another educational school of faith, this time it was at Missionary & Bible College.
I remember strange words being bantered around by the lecturers in those first few weeks, words like hermeneutics, homiletics & exegesis.
Exegesis means, the critical explanation of a text, especially of scripture.
I thought it would be exciting to begin an exegesis at the beginning of this year, as my word for 2021 is Prayer.
Shall we explore this most significant prayer that Jesus taught? For there are treasures here still to be found today!
First, let’s examine the beginning
The beginning of this prayer is pivotal to all prayer, for all mankind in all seasons since it was given.
I know that sounds a very grand statement to make but as we dig deeper you will discover for yourself the absolute precious treasure Jesus was gifting us in this simple but profound prayer.
Setting the scene
This prayer was given just after the Sermon on the Mount Refer II. Jesus had been teaching the multitudes the fullness of God’s truths that were quite startling to the Jewish world at that time.
There was the mind blowing Beattitudes, there were instructions to His followers to be the salt of the earth & shine God’s light to the world.
There was also new revelations on personal relationships, anger, marriage & divorce. Expanding their understanding of God’s grace in the fulfillment of the Judaistic law through the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Himself.
Jesus then began His teaching on prayer especially to His disciples by highlighting the need to first of all come before God the Father privately each day.
In other words spend quality time with our heavenly Father without distractions from the world.
But first who we address our prayer to is very important
When we examine the beginning of this prayer in modern words, its reads Our Father who is in heaven, we note that Jesus directs us to God the Father & no one else.
This can also be seen in all the prayers Jesus prayed that are recorded in the Scriptures while He walked with His disciples. Every one of them addresses Father God directly. Why?
Only God the Father has the power to answer prayer
Let’s qualify this & also look at the following scripture that Jesus imparted a little later at the time He was preparing the disciples for His death.
He told them that our heavenly Father would recognize prayer requests specifically in His name from that time forth, Jesus Christ’s name,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask & you will receive, that your joy made be made full. “
John 16: 23 & 24
“In that day you will ask in My name, & I do not say to you that I will request the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you because you have believed in Me & have believed that I came forth from the Father.”
John 16: 26 & 27
You see directing our prayers to our heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ signifies where we are as a believer.
It signifies that we have come into that personal relationship of salvation with the Father through His Son Jesus in His sacrifice on the cross, His resurrection & His return to the Father (the ascension).
You may be thinking the following,
Hold on Jennifer, doesn’t God use His Spirit & angels to answer prayer?
Yes He does, God answers prayer through His Holy Spirit & also utilizes His multitude of heavenly angels.
However, it’s God the Father who answers our requests in directing & empowering the answers to those prayers, for only He holds the power to make all things happen (Romans 8:28).
Second, glorifying the Father
When we study Jesus’ life on earth, we see a consistent glorifying of the Father. Everything He did & said was to glorify God the Father who sent Him.
And the second line of the Lord’s prayer is no exception, Jesus directs us to pray,
“Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name…”
Hallowed, means to keep Holy. Keep the name of God Holy. In other words it reads, ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Holy is Your name’.
This gives glory to God the Father for He is a Holy God & His Name is Holy.
Did you know that the ancient Hebrews believed that God’s name Yaweh was so sacred that they didn’t utter it! And that it was actually the meaning & sound of life itself!
His name is found at the very beginning when life here on Earth was being created in Genesis 2:4! For it is actually written thus, YHWH, יְהֹוָה without vowels, sounding yh vh, which is essentially the sound of breathing & unpronounceable!
Try the following Exercise for yourself
Exhale through your mouth, yh is heard & inhale through your mouth, vh is heard! So God’s name is said in every breath we take! Refer II How awesome is that!
As this year unfolds my dear friend, we will continue excavating prayer along the way while sipping our cuppa’s & munching treats. So stay tuned!
Until next time,
Next in this Prayer series is From here to Kingdom come →
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